Word Works | Katie Kitamura: Finding First Person
From unreliability to intimacy, first-person offers the writer a rich arsenal with which to build tension, plot and characterization. But for Katie Kitamura, the shift to writing in the first person was also very personal, and had to do with her own relationship to her writing—where she located herself in her own fiction. In this craft talk, Kitamura will look at first person examples from some of her favorite writers, as well as her own work, to examine the opportunities and risks of the first person voice. Kitamura will be joined in conversation by Lucy Tan.
Word Works craft talks by novelists, essayists, poets, and memoirists focus on writing as process rather than finished product, examining how language works to inspire and provoke new ideas through live close readings of the writer’s own or others’ work. These talks are designed to apply to writers of all genres as well as illuminate well-known works for avid readers. The talks are followed by an interview with a noted editor, writer, or critic.
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Lucy Tan is the author of the novel What We Were Promised, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a Best Book of 2018 by The Washington Post, Refinery 29, and Amazon. A recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Lucy is originally from New Jersey. She currently lives and writes in Seattle.
Katie Kitamura‘s most recent novel, A Separation, was a finalist for the Premio Gregor von Rezzori and a New York Times Notable Book. It was named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications and translated into sixteen languages, and is being adapted for film. Her two previous novels, Gone to the Forest and The Longshot, were both finalists for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and Santa Maddalena Foundation, Katie has written for publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Granta, BOMB Magazine, Triple Canopy, and Frieze. She teaches in the creative writing program at New York University.